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SCCR looking for help naming wigs

Lauren MacGill

Clinical coordinator Deb Thiessen and administrative coordinator Tracy Peters showcase a few of the wigs that can be named during the Name That Wig auction.

Clinical coordinator Deb Thiessen and administrative coordinator Tracy Peters showcase a few of the wigs that can be named during the Name That Wig auction.

South Central Cancer Resource is looking for the community’s help in giving their new wigs names.

The Morden Area Foundation’s annual Power of the Purse on March 3 raised $4,540 for SCCR, which they put toward purchasing new wigs and hair coverings. “We went through our old stock and were able to replace ones that had been really worn and kind of outdated,” administrative coordinator Tracy Peters said. “We got all these wonderful brand new wigs and we had to redo everything in our system. As I was generically putting names in I thought, ‘It would be so much fun to get the community involved since the community helped us buy these wigs in the first place.’”

Now, SCCR is hoping the public can help them give the new wigs a new name. The Name That Wig auction runs until July 19 on SCCR’s Facebook page. People can look through SCCR’s wig collection and place a bid to try to name a wig, especially if you see a style that reminds you of someone you know.

“We did the math the other day and as per our fiscal year, we’re at over $129,000 that we’ve given out for transportation and accommodations,” Peters said. “Year to date we have 103 clients. When we divide those up, we can see that every person that might come in here we can average that we’re going to be giving them around $1,000 or more depending on where they  are in their journey. To have the backing of all the communities that we’re associated with really impacts [clients] when they come in here.”

“When we tell the client that their neighbour, their friend and their community have given to us there fore we’re giving it to you, it changes their perspective on things,” she added.

Peters said a hairdresser from La Riviere has also been volunteering her time to style and trim wigs for patients, and was also key in helping SCCR get that many new wigs at the price they did.

Peters said the auction is less about raising money than about letting the public browse through their selection of wigs so they know this is a service available to them.

The Name That Wig auction is also in advance of the new virtual wig room that SCCR will be adding to their website. “We have a lot of people that call us and ask if they need to schedule an appointment to see the wigs or to look at what we have,” Peters said. “This way we can instruct them to go to our website and they can look at [the wigs] and say they want to try on Barbara or Sam or Leslie, and we can pull those for them. They can be more prepared for what they can look forward to here.”

SCCR has almost 100 wigs now that people going through cancer can access.

Peters said the wigs are part of the cancer journey for many people who come through SCCR. “You don’t always lose your hair when you’re going through cancer, that’s just a myth,” she said. “It’s the type of chemo that makes you lose your hair. It’s part of your identity, so when they come in and say they’re going to lose their hair, [they’ll only be] wearing the wig for five to six times in the time that they don’t have any hair. They’re going to get more comfortable in their skin but you have to go through that process first.”

“Some people just want to escape from what they’re feeling and people looking at them,” she added. “We’ve heard that a lot of clients put on the wig and go to Winnipeg and go grocery shopping. No one notices them, no one looks at them differently, and they use that as an outlet as well.”

Peters said clients can also have fun with the wigs, bringing their families in to also try on wigs or change their hair colour as part of the journey.

The Name That Wig auction runs until July 19. The wigs can be found on South Central Cancer Resource’s Facebook page. Bids start at $5 and can be made on the corresponding picture in the Facebook album.

Fringe Hair Salon and Access Credit Union will be matching a portion of the money raised during the Name That Wig auction.